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Allegiant Air announced today that it will begin providing seasonal air service from Northwest Arkansas to a key western destination.

The airline will start flying Nov. 14 from the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport to the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. Allegiant’s online schedule shows the twice-a-week flights continuing into April.

Data shows Phoenix-Mesa is the 12th most common air destination for Northwest Arkansas travelers, but not all of those 70 travelers a day are using XNA for the trips. Those passengers sometimes drive to airports that are two to four hours away before flying to Arizona, often taking advantage of lower fares.

There’s no scenario where low-cost carrier Allegiant Air will charge high fares for the trip from XNA to Phoenix-Mesa, and its new flights should boost  the frequency of travel to Arizona. Allegiant offered introductory fares of $69 each way on its website earlier today.

It’s likely that Allegiant’s fares from XNA will be less expensive than those of its competitors. Allegiant’s roundtrip fares from the Springfield-Branson National Airport to the Phoenix-Mesa airport rarely exceed $250, and a review of the Allegiant website showed it’s common for those roundtrip fares from Springfield to dip below $175.

Allegiant’s pricing from XNA to its other nonstop destinations (currently Destin, Las Vegas and Orlando) has saved XNA passengers millions of dollars over the years. In 2018, Allegiant’s average roundtrip fare from XNA to Orlando ($136) and Las Vegas ($166) was almost never beaten by its competitors.

The flights to Phoenix-Mesa means the airlines currently serving XNA will be offering three new destinations before year’s end. American Airlines will be providing the other two, offering nonstop flights to Philadelphia, starting in September, and Miami, starting in December.

Pictured at the top: The photo that shows a cyclist standing near the Grand Canyon was provided by the Arizona Office of Tourism.

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